Football Coach Explains Why Senior Bowl Will Benefit Lions

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia coaching a game in 2019.

The Detroit Lions will be able to coach the 2020 Senior Bowl, and that will give the team a significant advantage in terms of planning for the 2020 NFL Draft.

But just what will the team do while there, and how will the week in Mobile benefit Detroit greatly? Recently, a piece was compiled at the NFL Draft Lounge by Coach Leslie, a high school coach in Texas which explains what the Lions will be looking to accomplish later on this month.

Interestingly, part of the take involved why the Lions will be alright in spite of not having a coaching staff set in stone yet for 2020.

“Coaches for both the Lions and Bengals will put the players through their individual drills that they do in their specific scheme. This is where positional coaches play a vital role in the overall evaluation process.

For example, although we don’t yet know who the defensive coordinator is for the Lions, we can expect them to continue running a base 3-4 defense. Their defensive line coach will put his assigned group through some drills that will allow him to see if the linemen can two-gap or not. (By two-gap, we mean that the defender is responsible for two gaps along the offensive line rather than one.)”

Additionally, as the piece explains, previous coaching staffs in the Senior Bowl have used the game to their dramatic advantage in order to scout and find key players. Just last year, the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers found plenty of difference makers after their week in Mobile.

“Last year the Raiders and the 49ers hosted the Senior Bowl. The Raiders benefited the most from the process and drafted four players from the Senior Bowl and signed three as undrafted free agents. In total, six of those players ended the season on the 53-man active roster. Of those six players, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, and Alec Ingold played critical roles on the team.

The 49ers drafted three players from the Senior Bowl including, Deebo Samuel, who finished with over 800 yards in his rookie season.

Expect the Lions and Bengals to draft several of the Senior Bowl players, so they can help turn their culture into a winning one.”

Though the Lions flamed out in dramatic fashion in 2019, the benefit was almost certainly getting them into this game so they might find the next generation of talent for their team. They will be able to get an up close look at who fits their roster and use that knowledge to find players.

Recent history shows they figure to be successful at doing just that.

Advantages of Lions Coaching Senior Bowl

As the team fell apart late in the year, perhaps stunningly, the Lions’ staff led by Matt Patricia worked themselves into a potential role for the 2020 Senior Bowl. As the Lions keep climbing the ladder of some of the worst teams in the NFL, their chances of coaching the game managed to keep increasing.

At the time, Nagy pointed out that the Lions could be closing in on the potential to coach the Senior Bowl with some of the teams in front of them coming on and starting to win games.

In order to work themselves into the mix, the Lions managed to keep losing while others around them crumble, and it was mission accomplished by the time the season ended.

As has been explained before, if the Lions did manage to crack the game as coaches, it could provide them with a huge advantage in terms of scouting players and coming up with a game plan for an important 2020 draft.

It’s a draft that the Lions have plenty of high picks in, which means the team could only stand to benefit from this.

Recent Lions Draft Results

After a tough 6-10 finish to the 2018 season, Detroit finished with a top 10 pick at No. 8. They were able to snag tight end T.J. Hockenson, who’s been one of the offensive bright spots thus far this season. That proves overall how a painful finish can lead to some better players.

As a whole, Detroit has done a decent job in recent drafts getting talent that can compete on the roster immediately. Last season’s top three picks are playing a major role for the team this season. Names such as Taylor Decker, Kenny Golladay, Jarrad Davis, Graham Glasgow and Tracy Walker are also playing a big role for the team when they are healthy and engaged.

While there have been a few mistakes, Bob Quinn has done a decent job to identify talent with some of the picks he has made thus far during his tenure in the Motor City. Another high pick next year could give him a chance at adding another impact player to the squad.

Getting some advanced scouting on the players via the Senior Bowl is now what the Lions have to look forward to.

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